Colin Kaepernick’s Fine: NFL Protecting Money over Game?


Is it the money or the game that drives the NFL? Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The events pertaining to Colin Kaepernick’s fine have been well documented. During a post-game press conference Sunday, Kaepernick wore pink “Beats by Dre” headphones. Due to the NFL’s endorsement deal with Bose, 90 minutes before the game, during the game, and during press conferences, NFL employees are not to wear any headphones accept for Bose.

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Kaepernick was wearing the pink beats to pay homage to the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign that is so heavily advertised by the NFL; however, because these actions do not comply with the rules set by the endorsement agreement, Kaepernick received a hefty fine, $10,000 to be exact.  This isn’t the first time the NFL has levied a hefty fine against a player for violating one of its endorsement agreements.  Brian Urlacher’s $100,000 fine for wearing a Vitamin Water hat to Super Bowl XLI’s media day dwarfed Kaepernick’s.

These events raise the question, does the NFL care more about protecting “the shield” as opposed to protecting the game itself? Every year the NFL releases its new rules on fines. Some of the official fine prices are, in my opinion, a little odd. For starters, these penalties or obstructions all result in an automatic fine of $8,268.

  • Face Mask
  • Late Hit
  • Low Block
  • Chop Block
  • Taunting
  • Striking, Kicking, Kneeing an opponent
  • Foreign Substances on a uniform
  • Failure to wear a chin strap

These penalties or obstructions all result in an automatic fine of $5,512.

  • Throwing a ball into the stands
  • Personal messages on the uniform
  • Uniform and equipment violations
  • Unnecessarily entering fight area (active involvement)

For those interested, click here for the link to the full list of what NFL players can be fined for during games.

The point being is that the NFL has weighed the fines for the obstructions during the games according to the severity of said obstruction. But the question has to be asked, why are harmless acts outside of the game, more heavily fined than actions that can cause severe harm, or even cheating (foreign substance on the uniform[stick’em]) during the game?

Does the NFL care more about protecting its endorsements and advertising dollars than it does actually protecting the integrity and safety of the game? Either way, with everything going on with how the NFL handles disciplinary issues, this is just another weight that has been added to Roger Goodell’s shoulders.